Dreamlike Trance of Sexual Solidarity
Fucking New York show review by
New York-based photographer Nikola Tamindzic staged an insane exhibition for his long-awaited art book, FUCKING NEW YORK, at Superchief Gallery in SoHo.
The book promises to feature dozens of muses — artists, writers, editors, models, actors, dancers — stripping down and literally making sweet love to the last remaining phone booths, fire hydrants, light posts, storefront windows, and other urban ephemera; a grand performance seeking to articulate an otherwise unspoken, often unrequited love affair with what could still very well be the greatest city on Earth. Forget Sex and the City. What would sex with the city — New York City — look like?
“The word is immersive, but I think some people were overwhelmed by it. Submerged is maybe a better word,” says Tamindzic of the exhibition with an impish laugh. For the exhibit, Tamindzic selected over 7,000 unedited proofs, which he’s been amassing since his first shoot for the project, which took place on his birthday in 2012. Each of The Hub’s fifteen screens was fitted with 500 unique, exquisitely composed images, each in a different NY location with a different model in various stages of undress. Imagine 7,000 hi-res, high fashion, hypersexual nudes turning over on fifteen different screens and rotating every three seconds in every direction.
Unprecedented is the word.
The exhibit was an ongoing, orgasmic, meta-artistic marketing experiment executed in real time, as several of Nikola’s muses could be found staring at themselves on the various screens (each an infinity mirror of Nikola’s consistently powerful raw imagery) in a state of semi-shock, only to be buoyed by their fellow Fucking New York exhibitionist comrades, who could be found standing beside them in a dreamlike trance of celebratory sexual solidarity, which, to even the most untrained eye, seemed like a silent, organic declaration of female empowerment. It was as if, at that very moment, the term “male gaze” had been buried definitively in a time capsule for a 100 years, to be mocked and laughed at a century later, along with the countless galleries and magazines across America who serve up feminism as a commodity on a daily basis in order to cash in and sell product to a hyper-charged, fad-obsessed, click-bait addicted, super-sensitive swath of confused, guilt ridden consumers.
“It’s there. All of this is there,” says Tamindzic of the playful, silly, sexual gods and goddesses that seem to emerge from within all of his subjects during his now legendary shoots, which almost all of his models invariably site as an empowering, ecstatic, if not transcendent experience. “In this reality, it doesn’t get to come out in such an open manner.”
What’s next for Tamindzic? It seems like he has other major cities on his radar: Fucking Paris, Fucking London, or even Fucking Beijing complete with gas masks perhaps? “You can’t just take the look and this thing and move it wholesale,” says Tamindzic, who seems to have his sights set on Paris’ courtyards, apartments, and numerous hidden treasures. “You have to spend time there, and be truthful to the city.”
So after four years of scouting, traversing and shooting this Big Apple and steering clear of its high-traffic tourist zones “like the plague,” what is the one spot that turns Nikola Tamindzic on and ultimately gets him off? “The only thing I can think of right now, because I haven’t had breakfast yet, is pizza,” says Tamindzic, still hungry it would appear, but with a relaxed, jovial confidence. “I might storm Rosario’s on Stanton and fuck the shit out of that place.”
Kurt McVey is an art writer and performer living in New York. He has written for The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Interview, Forbes, Paper, ArtNet News, Whitehot, and T magazine.
This article was originally published on May 26 2016 in OneRooph magazine. It has been condensed for clarity.